Things to do in La Paz

La Paz is located in the west of Bolivia. It ranks third in terms of population within the country. Originally, it was called Nuestra Señora de La Paz, meaning Our Lady of Peace, but is now commonly called La Paz. It stands at an elevation of around 3650m above sea level. La Paz is the de facto capital of Bolivia because of its higher number of government departments, but the official capital of Bolivia is Sucre.

Places to visit in La Paz

There are tons of things to do in Bolivia and visiting La Paz is one of them. The city offers many different activities to the tourists. There is the grand colonial architecture and museums to enjoy for people who love history. The local markets are also a treat to visit, especially Mercado de las Brujas and Mercado Negro. Another thing not to be missed in La Paz is the nightlife. The clubs in La Paz, called peñas, are especially famous. Mercado de las Brujas are a small but magical part of La Paz known as the witch markets. One of the many things to do in La Paz is to go to these markets in search of spells, medicinal plants, potions, and even spiritual advice to solve all your problems. Another of the many interesting things to do in La Paz is Cholita wrestling, a mixture of American WWF and Mexican lucha libre. It is an all women wrestling. It is fun just to watch even if you do not participate in it. Apart from these interesting activities, La Paz also offers many other things both for the locals and for the tourists. These include partying, zip lining, guided walking tours, and cycling on death roads to name a few.

Visit La Paz

There are many amazing places to visit in La Paz, the informal capital of Bolivia. There is the highest ski slope in the world, the high and freezing altitude of the El Alto and Huayna Potosi Mountain. La Paz not only offers tourists beautiful mountains, which surround the city, but also rich architecture and artifacts. Combined with the natural beauty are all the advantages of a metropolis. La Paz has delicious cuisine to offer, from all around the world, cheap accommodations, and an exciting nightlife as well. Although there are so many wonderful places to visit in La Paz, there are a few places that are worthy of a visit, which must not be missed at any cost. These include the Andes, Yungas valley, Island of the Sun, Huayna Sajama Thermals, and Lake Titicaca. There is also the Presidential Palace, the markets and an elaborate system of churches around the city that can be explored. La Paz is just the right tourist spot for lovers of city life as well, with its glamour and booming traffic alongside history and beauty.


One of the most recommended things to do in Bolivia is to visit the Andes in La Paz. It is the longest mountain range in the world and has a few of the world's largest peaks as well. There are a few different theories about the name 'Andes'. While the majority agrees that it comes from the Quechua word Anti which means high crest, the same word also translates to ‘East’. But, there are some who disagree and according to them, it comes from Anti Suyu, a region of the Inca Empire.

Nevertheless, the Andes is a mountain range and only a part of it touches Bolivia while it also encompasses Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Its average elevation is of 13,000 feet but the highest peak is in Argentina at the height of 22,838 feet. This is at the Mount Aconcagua.

The mountains with high elevations open possibilities of many things to do in Andes. It is a great option for the adventurous souls interested in hiking, trekking, climbing, and even mountain biking as well. The most appropriate season to indulge in these activities is from May to September. The wet season from December until April turns the pathways slippery and hiking becomes a risky venture.


Valle de la Luna

Valle de la Luna

Valle de la Luna is located in the province of Domingo Murillo in downtown La Paz, which is the capital city of Bolivia. Also known as the Moon Valley, it is a mountainous area that has been mostly worn out by erosions leaving tall spires. The area is composed mostly of clay, instead of the rock, and is similar to another zone in the city of La Paz known as El Valle de las Animas, or The Valley of the Souls.

Visitors can find a lot of entertaining things to do in Valle de la Luna. The site is famous for the carnival Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, that takes place here every year in the month of November. Here you can join in with the locals and enjoy the festivities of the occasion.

Due to the varying mineral content, the sides of the mountains present magnificent optical illusions with sections of varying colors including beige, light brown, red, and dark violet. A visit to the valley offers a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the urban La Paz. You can explore many fun and exciting things to do in Valle de la Luna. The best time to visit the area is during the morning or you can also combine the visit with other outing such as a hike to Muela del Diablo that will fill the entire day.


Huayna Sajama Thermals

Huayna Sajama Thermals

There are numerous exciting things to do in Bolivia and a major one is to explore the beautiful mountainous Sajama National Park. The locals of the Andes in Bolivia take care of the national park which is home to a few of the highest peaks. Many of these mountains are volcanic. Therefore, while the travelers enjoy climbing and trekking here, the main attraction of the national park is its thermal waters.

One of the many enjoyable things to do in Huayna Sajama Thermals is to relax in the soothing warm waters with temperatures above 40 degrees. These wonderful natural spas are a magnificent way to enjoy the great peaks of Mount Sajama at 6542m, Mount Parinacota at 6348m and Mount Acotango at 6052m. Another amazing view is that of colored water pools with microorganisms, found upon moving up the valley. The national park is also home to many preserved species of plants and wildlife.

Climbing these huge mountains is an amazing way to spend time in La Paz. However, hikers must be careful of unstable rock formations and thin ice on the beautiful snow-covered mountains as they aim to reach the peak.

Exploring the Island of the Sun is on the top of the list of things to do in Bolivia especially because of its ancient religious history. It is located on the southern side of Lake Titicaca and lies in La Paz. The few people inhabiting this area earn their living either through agriculture or tourism.

One of the immigrant but rather prominent races inhabiting Bolivia, is of the Incas. The high place granted to the Island of the Sun is due to the religious significance that the Incas attach to this island. The Inca worship the sun and according to their legend, their earliest ancestor Mánco Capac was born out of a cliff in the northern part of this island. The cliff was a part of sandstone called Titi Qala. Another version of the legend states that there had been a flood and this island was the first to emerge from it and the sun had shone on it from behind Titi Qala. The Inca people believe it to be the birthplace of the sun. They have built a temple on the spot to worship the sun. Given this amazing history, visiting the Inca ruins, especially Titi Qala, is one of the necessary things to do in Island of the Sun.

Standing silently at the shore of Lake Titicaca, Tiwanaku is a Bolivian city that attracts the attention of history lovers and archaeologists from around the world. Before the Hispanic era, the city used to be the spiritual and political centre for the ancient Tiwanaku people. The remains of the great Tiwanaku Empire are found everywhere in the form of temples and monuments.

Most of the things to do in Tiwanaku are related to exploring the history and culture of the people who made it one of the most well-built and developed cities of its time. Akapana pyramid is one of the intriguing sites that attract many archaeologist uncovering the myths and secrets of pyramids outside of Egypt. Move a little further and you will find the massive Kalasasaya Temple known for the mysterious Puerta del Sol.

Since it is in Bolivia, there are also many fun filled things to do in Tiwanaku. Visit in June and you can be a part of the Aymara New Year. As a city that attracts people interested in cultural history, Tiwanaku has eateries where you can find truly exotic food and drinks. And when done with all the explorations and enjoyment, you can visit the banks of Titicaca, and unwind in the arms of nature.

The Andes is the mountainous region touching many South American countries, including Bolivia. Right along its eastern slopes, there is an equally amazing but hot and humid forest in a valley, by the name of Yungas Valley. Yungas Valley boasts of its rich foliage, colorful assortment of fruits hanging from the trees and wonderful waterfalls, to amazed travelers descending from the mountains of the Andes. It is home to numerous species of parrots and monkeys. The fertile conditions also allow the cultivation of many fruits such as bananas, coffee, melons, papayas, and mangoes. Experiencing the beauty of the Yungas Valley tops the list of the things to do in Bolivia.

From hiking, mountain biking, and water rafting to adventurous expeditions, there are various things to do in the Yungas valley. It has many unexplored areas and an adventurous soul has much to gain from the secret valleys in the Yungas region around La Paz. There are still rumors of hidden gold in these areas, allowing room for many thrilling activities such as treasure hunts. Before it was rebuilt, the Yungas road was considered as the world's most dangerous road. Even today, for adventurists, taking this route is definitely one of the many amazing things to do in Bolivia.

Even if the purpose of the traveler is to relax, Yungas Valley is not to be missed. The natural blend of beautiful greenery and vibrant fruits has an amazingly calm and soothing effect on the human nerves.

There are a number of things to do in Bolivia and visiting the largest South American lake is number one on the list. It is the only navigable lake with the highest elevation at 3,812 meters. Lake Titicaca touches the border of Peru and Bolivia. It encompasses the region in Bolivia, which is considered as the origin of the Inca civilization. On the southeastern side of the lake are the Tiwanaku ruins, which are even more ancient than the Incan Empire.

This lake is one of the great Bolivian tourist attractions. The ruins on its shore hold religious importance for the Incas. Exploring them is therefore, one of the major things to do in Lake Titicaca. This place is a combination of many ancient cultures, which are still thriving in their own ways. There are ruined cathedrals, harvesting fields, hills and the locally bred llamas. People dwelling in these parts celebrate many unique religious festivals with colorful costumes. They also often celebrate their religious occasions for many days consecutively, following ancient rituals. Women also still participate in crop cultivation, wearing petticoats and hats.


The Witches' Market

The Witches' Market

The Witches' Market is a unique site that is worth a visit in Bolivia. Also known as El Mercado de las Brujas and El Mercado de Hechiceria in the local dialect, the place is located on Linares and Calle Jiminez between Santa Cruz and Sagarnaga in La Paz the capital city of Bolivia. It is a favorite tourist attraction located in a mountain clearing in Cerro Cumbre in Lapaz. Visitors can find a lot of interesting things to do in the Witches' Market.

At the market, you can buy truly exotic stuff concocted by the indigenous people such as soapstone figurines, aphrodisiac formulas, and even dried frogs. Also sold in the Witches Market of La Paz are folk remedies, herbs, potions, herbs including armadillos and retama and different fascinating ingredients that have unknown usages.

The items are sold by the local witch doctors called yatiris that can be recognized by their coco pouches and black hats. They sell powders, talismans, and amulets that although don't mean much to the foreigners can serve as a souvenir when visiting the city of La Paz.

There are many other exciting things to do in the Witches' Market. Visitors can take a stroll along the narrow street of the Witches Market to glimpse at the local people and learn about their unique culture.


Plaza Murillo

Plaza Murillo

Plaza Murillo is situated in the central part of the plaza located in the capital city of La Paz in Bolivia. The plaza is situated in the old town the city known as Casco Viejo. It is surrounded by Comercio Street to the south, Ayacucho Street to the east, Socabaya Street to the west, and Ballivan and Ingavi Street to the north. Visitors will be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to visit and things to do in Plaza Murillo.

The plaza dates back to the 16th century during the times of the Spanish colonial rule. It forms part of the rectilinear grid of La Paz and designed by Juan Gutiérrez Paniagua to order the city on the northern side of the Choqueyapu River. The plaza was located opposite to a Spanish settlement that numbered 200 Spaniards and 5,000 indigenous residents that paid tribute to the Spanish.

Plaza Murillo became the central plaza after supplanting the previous Plaza Alonso de Mendoza. Colonia building that surrounds the plaza include the Roal Treasure, the Bishop's residence, and the cabildo (or government building that also includes the Cabildo, or the government building. There are plenty of other fun things to do in Plaza Murillo. Visitors can take a round of the market, eat at one of the eateries, and take part in the various other entertainment activities available near the plaza.